Traditional Cooking

Dear Peg and Friends,
While shopping yesterday I spotted something in a display cabinet that I hadn’t cooked and eaten for sometime. It was a ‘Pickled Ox Tongue’. These days it very difficult to find any offal, let alone a stand out item like this, ‘A pickled ox tongue’. Our current generation are very fussy eaters, mention the word tripe, and they will run a mile. So there is little demand for that food. In some towns that we have lived in, there even have been flourishing ‘Tripe Clubs’, all run by desperate people, who actually love this delicious dish, and can’t buy it, or even get it cooked at home.
Now our current populous tend to eat only, the prime cuts of steak, or perhaps mince. We even have a section of folk who don’t eat any meat at all, and are vegetarian. Recently as a treat for me, and knowing my tastes, daughter Lynn had purchased from the local delicatessen, a thick slice of cold ox tongue. It was covered in jelly meat, and this quickly became my lunch. I can’t remember when I had actually tasted something so delicious.
Remembering this, I tossed the tongue that was on sale, into my trolley. Remembering too what Granny had told me, and how to cook this item. Granny and her family had owned Hotels, and gave me many of the recipes for meals that I loved. Over a lifetime or more they always featured on their dining room menus. Some of are what our family still use and enjoy today. They cooked as well, all the obligatory roasts, but alway included the popular dishes I have listed, and what the public at the time demanded.
Meat loaf, spaghetti bolognaise, or a stew made from lamb neck chops. (Something for a long time, these were just thrown away). Many of the tastiest dishes I find are also the cheapest.
So I came home, and dropped the pickled tongue into a bouillon, added a couple of bay leaves, some mustard seeds. Two teaspoons of gelatine as I didn’t have a pig’s trotter to assist with formation of the jelly when I pressed it. It will require some two hours cooking, or until I’m able to skin the tongue, which is also the signal that the item is done.
I noticed in the same bin an ox tail, so I grabbed that as well. Ox tail is currently enjoying a comeback and renaissance. It too is now being featured by all our better restaurants. Goodness this is annoying. As all it has done for us, is push the price up. It has done the same thing with sheep shanks. Once, no one wanted this offal, now I find we are competing for it.
The cooking of Ox Tails, also a Granny’s recipe. It’s a two day operation but well worth the effort. Tail segments are trimmed, then boiled with an onion for a couple of hours, then stuck into the fridge overnight so any fat left on the tail will rise so that you can easily remove it, once it’s sitting on the top of the dish. As well, this will tenderise the tail. On the second day I add some chicken or beef stock, soy sauce, and a slurp of Lee and Perrins sauce. Also about ten whole cloves. You can add any vegetables you have on hand, but the cloves are the key, and must not be omitted. Seeing the tail has now become so expensive, I also add a kilo of stewing steak. It will pick up the essential taste of the meal, and no one will know the meal has been stretched.
My other love and a hang over from the past is a steak and kidney pie. The simple things are always the best
Love to all from Christchurch,
Wally
While shopping yesterday I spotted something in a display cabinet that I hadn’t cooked and eaten for sometime. It was a ‘Pickled Ox Tongue’. These days it very difficult to find any offal, let alone a stand out item like this, ‘A pickled ox tongue’. Our current generation are very fussy eaters, mention the word tripe, and they will run a mile. So there is little demand for that food. In some towns that we have lived in, there even have been flourishing ‘Tripe Clubs’, all run by desperate people, who actually love this delicious dish, and can’t buy it, or even get it cooked at home.
Now our current populous tend to eat only, the prime cuts of steak, or perhaps mince. We even have a section of folk who don’t eat any meat at all, and are vegetarian. Recently as a treat for me, and knowing my tastes, daughter Lynn had purchased from the local delicatessen, a thick slice of cold ox tongue. It was covered in jelly meat, and this quickly became my lunch. I can’t remember when I had actually tasted something so delicious.
Remembering this, I tossed the tongue that was on sale, into my trolley. Remembering too what Granny had told me, and how to cook this item. Granny and her family had owned Hotels, and gave me many of the recipes for meals that I loved. Over a lifetime or more they always featured on their dining room menus. Some of are what our family still use and enjoy today. They cooked as well, all the obligatory roasts, but alway included the popular dishes I have listed, and what the public at the time demanded.
Meat loaf, spaghetti bolognaise, or a stew made from lamb neck chops. (Something for a long time, these were just thrown away). Many of the tastiest dishes I find are also the cheapest.
So I came home, and dropped the pickled tongue into a bouillon, added a couple of bay leaves, some mustard seeds. Two teaspoons of gelatine as I didn’t have a pig’s trotter to assist with formation of the jelly when I pressed it. It will require some two hours cooking, or until I’m able to skin the tongue, which is also the signal that the item is done.
I noticed in the same bin an ox tail, so I grabbed that as well. Ox tail is currently enjoying a comeback and renaissance. It too is now being featured by all our better restaurants. Goodness this is annoying. As all it has done for us, is push the price up. It has done the same thing with sheep shanks. Once, no one wanted this offal, now I find we are competing for it.
The cooking of Ox Tails, also a Granny’s recipe. It’s a two day operation but well worth the effort. Tail segments are trimmed, then boiled with an onion for a couple of hours, then stuck into the fridge overnight so any fat left on the tail will rise so that you can easily remove it, once it’s sitting on the top of the dish. As well, this will tenderise the tail. On the second day I add some chicken or beef stock, soy sauce, and a slurp of Lee and Perrins sauce. Also about ten whole cloves. You can add any vegetables you have on hand, but the cloves are the key, and must not be omitted. Seeing the tail has now become so expensive, I also add a kilo of stewing steak. It will pick up the essential taste of the meal, and no one will know the meal has been stretched.
My other love and a hang over from the past is a steak and kidney pie. The simple things are always the best
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